The most followed sport in Netherlands is Football. The Dutch were the pioneers of ‘Total Football’ under the leadership of Johan Cruyff, a sensation of his generation and legend of the sport. But a new heartthrob is gaining the attention of the Dutch and shifting the favours to F1 – Max Verstappen.
Max Verstappen became the first Dutch driver in Formula 1 history to be crowned World Champion after defeating 7-time world champion in a nail-biting season. The Dutchman has since been setting a new trend of ‘Super Max’ fans across the nation.
Verstappen overtook Hamilton in the dying laps of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The FIA has called an investigation of the running of the race with the goal of learning what happened and determining if adjustments are needed for the safety car procedure.
“People who never watched F1, now watch because of Max”
Frits van Amersfoort, who was Max Verstappen’s boss in F3 spoke highly of his young prodigy. Verstappen had raced for Van Amersfoot Racing in the 2014 F3 championship. He finished 3rd his debut F3 campaign acing 10 wins and securing a move in F1 with a seat in the Scuderia Toro Rosso.
“Verstappen has made Formula 1 a kind of national sport. That is really incredible,” he told RacingNews365.com. “People who never watched F1, they now all watch F1 and that is purely because of Max.” Max had risen the popularity of F1 through the roof in his home country.
“Lewis has been World Champion seven times. I have never worked with Lewis but I can imagine that, at the beginning of his career, he was also a bit wilder than now. Lewis is Lewis, and has become World Champion seven times and not eight times because [Verstappen] shoots through motorsport like a rocket. I think we should all just enjoy it immensely” said Van Amersfoort on the driving styles of the two drivers.
Verstappen will be back in 2022 to begin the defence of his title, choosing to race with the number ‘1’ on his Red Bull RB18. The new season will be underway on March 18th. Bahrain will host the first Grand Prix of the season and shall resume the rivalry os Max and Lewis on track.